Sugar Wars

There is quite a battle going on between the food industry and the food police. (Thankfully I don’t fall into either). Someone has to take responsibility for the obesity epidemic. There must be a single food, ingredient, flavoring etc at fault. At the present time, it appears that soft drinks are the fall guy.

There has been an effort to put a sin tax on sugared beverages as a way to reduce consumption and therefore weight. But one study shows that the tax would need to be at least $1 per 20 oz bottle to affect sales to teens. Another suggestion is to prevent sales of soft drinks with food stamps. A group with a social conscience cried “foul” at the idea of placing this unfair burden on the poor. And by now you know about actions taken in NYC by Mayor Bloomberg in limiting the legal portion size that can be sold in establishments.

One thing for sure is that the calories from sugar sweetened beverages can add up. Look at the front of your favorite brand and you can plainly see the calorie count of a single 12 oz can or 20 oz bottle. This response was organized by the American Beverage Association called “Clear on Calories”. I think that it is a responsible first step if we are going to avoid hiring the food police. For more information, check out this link below.

Click to access 332_FINAL%20ABA%20CLEAR%20ON%20CALORIES-%20(Calorie%20Label%20Initiative%20and%20Style%20Guide).pdf

Now, you might ask what about “diet” or “low calorie” drinks? I drink diet xxxx as a preference when purchasing a soft drink. For someone who is accustomed to drinking a 2 liter bottle per day of any sugar-sweetened beverage, diet is definitely a great substitute. However, no one needs to drink 2 liters a day of any soft drink period. For thirst try drinking water. Not everything needs to have a flavor.

What got me started on this rant was a youtube video that I saw yesterday. As I mentioned earlier, the soft drink industry has become the fall guy for the obesity problem. I believe the root cause is much more complicated and solutions need to be couched in science rather than knee-jerk responses.

First, I would like you to view a video on what the industry has and continues to do to be a responsible product out of all the food choices we make every day.

Then, when you view the next video
you will understand (?) my rant today. I don’t think this is a fair representation of the problem nor does it give credit to the hard work that has already been accomplished. It is all about personal choice and responsibility. But these are my thoughts and I would love to read yours.

I have not received any compensation from Coca Cola for this posting.

About nadineandadamblog

Nadine and Adam are mother and son. Nadine lives in Florida where she has provided outpatient MNT in a large healthsystem for the past 20 years. In addition, she teaches nutrition to second and third year family medicine residents. She is a past-spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Adam lives in Washington State. His career has largely been involved in recipe development and food production. He is currently developing recipes and menus for the Seattle schools to meet the new federal guidelines for school nutrition programs and he does outpatient nutrition counseling. He is also a voice in PSAs over Seattle radio representing the Washington Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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